Uvah Letzion III:Conclusion

20 Feb 2013

After we recite the Kedushah Desidrah, and declare our loving commitment to G-d, the conclusion of Uvah
Letzion describes the unbelievable opportunity and privilege we have been afforded by G-d to receive, learn,
and fulfill the precepts of the Torah.
The Gap Between Inspired Expression and Defined Commitment:
Many years ago HaRav Shimon Schwab zt”l once stated in front of a group of rabbinical students who were
running a summer program for returnees to Jewish tradition that, All Jews Should Be Baalei Teshuvah. My
explanation is that all Jews of all backgrounds need to continuously strive to grow closer to Hashem and fulfill
the Torah better.
There is a fascinating phenomenon that can take place when a Jew finds his/her way back to the traditions of
Torah. The journey begins with enthrallment and inspiration. Each new Mitzvah that is taken on is exhilarating
both in its performance as well as because he/she is adding another slice of holiness into his/her life. Then one
day through study and/or experience a realization sets in that if one does not keep the Torah and Mitzvoth, he
may face the Biblical warnings and punishments therein. The returnee then does a double take and thinks:
Wait a minute – I took on (for example) Shabbat because it is enjoyable, holy, a great idea for family… now
you are telling me I HAVE to do it?!!! This is a reality check faced by thousands of Jews each year. When that
threshold is crossed positively, the person arrives at observance and commitment to Halachik Judaism.
This experience is mirrored in the final verses of Uvah Letzion. Baruch Elokenu Shebiraanu Lechvodo – Blessed
is our G-d that has created us for His glory, separated us from the sinners and presented us with the eternal
truths of the Torah and implanted eternity within us. The prayer continues with a verse from Isaiah 65:23 – Hu
Yiftach Leebeynu Betorato….Uleavdo Beleyvav Shaleym Lemaan lo neegah Larik velo Naylaid Labehalah – May
G-d open our hearts to Torah…so that we may serve Him with full hearts and not struggle towards emptiness
and pursue futility.
The first sentence demonstrates the unparalleled greatness G-d created us for. The second verse from Isaiah
states clearly that the lack of pursuit towards a life of truth and Mitzvoth will determine a life G-d forbid, that
leads towards emptiness and futility. What a contrast!
Uvah Letzion concludes with a request that G-d protect us in this world and the next one, where we will praise
G-d with our souls, meet Messiah, and experience the World to Come. The final verses from Psalms and Isaiah
punctuate this theme of our eternal relationship with G-d.
Take Home Tip: Remember that learning Torah and fulfilling Mitzvoth are divine gifts and privileges. If we
value our opportunities we will be forever rewarded; and if we squander the opportunities G-d forbid, we will
have lost them forever.